Get to Know: Nick Smith, Public Relations Manager, Peterbilt

December 13, 2017 Joy Welborn

We sat down with Nick Smith, PR Manager at Peterbilt, to get the lowdown on the relationship between PR and social media, educating internal stakeholders about PR, and the best part of his day.

Joy Welborn: It looks like you dabbled in both PR and social media roles for a couple of years. What drew you to PR as a career path? How does your social media experience influence your approach to PR strategy today?

Nick Smith: PR and social media are so interwoven now it’s sometimes difficult to tell where the PR messages end and the social specific content begins. That’s the goal, or least it should be.  Social media is just another storytelling device. We can use it for targeted audiences and build content that matters to those groups.

At the end of the day communicators are storytellers.  We tell our stories in different ways whether it’s a social media post, a press release or media pitching, we are in the business of telling our brand’s stories in the most effective way possible.  If social media isn’t part of your toolbox you’re missing a group of people that want to hear what you have to say. 


JW: What accomplishment in your career to date are you most proud of?

NS: There have been many projects that I am proud of; however, my proudest accomplishment doesn’t come from my career in PR. From 2002 to 2006 I was a Marine Corps Infantrymen. In 2006 I led a group of 30 Marines through the first six months of a deployment to Iraq. Doing so without incident is my proudest accomplishment.

JW: Many of our clients in traditional industries spend quite a bit of their time educating stakeholders internally on how PR is shifting and different ways press can be measured in 2017. Peterbilt is a well-known logo in a very traditional industry, how does that influence your PR strategy?

NS: It’s not uncommon for there to be a need for a PR manager to spend some time educating an organization on PR activities and specifically measurement. I’m lucky to have a leadership team that sees the value in PR.

PR is not something new to traditional industries, but the way PR is planned, implemented and measured has changed. It’s up to those of us in PR roles to keep our organization up to speed on new tactics and measurement techniques.

JW: What is the most challenging aspect of your role? How are you tackling it?

NS: Managing the different relationships is always one of the most challenging portions of a PR job. I like to think that while this can be difficult it is also the most rewarding. I get to meet a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds. I truly enjoy getting to know them and learning of their stories. 

JW: On the flip side, what is your favorite part of handling PR at Peterbilt?

NS: Trucks! I love trucks. Every now and then I even get to drive them. When I first started in this industry I would have never thought I would enjoy it so much, but there is so much to learn and so many exciting advancements in the industry right now that it really keeps us on our toes. I get to travel around and spend time with journalist that I have come to call friends, what’s not to love.

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